Looking for a meal with a view? The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, which grade eateries based solely on the look of their spaces, just came out with its shortlist of the 217 most avant-garde, stunning places to grab a drink or a bite—on earth. The judges include hospitality VIPs and editors from around the globe and the awards honor canteens spanning 70 countries from Michelin-star mega-hits to fleeting pop-ups. While scrolling through all 200-plus picks is a dazzling display of eye candy, we chose five of our favorites that we're ready to fly across the world for.
1. THE BLUE ROOM (LOS ANGELES)
Tucked inside the Los Angeles Athletic Club (a chichi health club and restaurant), the Blue Room has major history. It first opened in 1912 as an exclusive canteen for the elite, but re-launched with the help of furniture designer Timothy Oulton in 2015. The chic new lounge sports crystal chandeliers, vintage team photos, and antique lockers for big vintage-meets-industrial style.
431 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles, CA; laac.com
2. BOTTEGA (JAKARTA, INDONESIA)
This European-style restaurant opened at the beginning of 2015, serving traditional Italian dishes like spaghetti and risotto in an ultra-artsy setting created by Einstein & Associates, who are known for bold restaurants across Asia. Mosaics depicting turquoise and cobalt peacock feathers cover the floor and tables. Living elements are also a leading design factor here, and tall ferns serve as wallpaper across the al fresco eating areas.
4, Jalan Prof. Dr. Satrio, Jakarta, Indonesia; facebook.com/bottegaristorantejkt
3. BENNELONG (SYDNEY)
Bennelong had a great head start in the looks department, since it's located in Sydney's iconic Opera House. The restaurant, which serves high-end Australian cuisine, opened in 2015 and was designed by an Australian firm famous for its inventiveness, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. The cathedral-like arena includes three tiers of seating with harbor views and dramatic lighting by Tom Dixon.
Bennelong Point, Sydney, NSW; bennelong.com.au
4. GERMAN GYMNASIUM (LONDON)
The building housing this Mittel-European café was actually England's first gymnasium, constructed in 1865. Conran and Partners brought in some King's Cross neighborhood style (think: artistic and young) in 2015 with walnut paneling, distressed leather seating and statement art throughout the dining area and even bathrooms.
King's Blvd, London N1C 4BU, United Kingdom; germangymnasium.com
5. AL SULTAN (LONDON)
The amazing gold gridded interior was conceived by design firm IDEA International in 2015 to appeal to the luxe London neighborhood of Mayfair and the restaurant's Lebanese cuisine. Traditional Islamic patterns are used in the aluminum brass lattice framework along with walnut-sunburst shaped floor tiles and custom ring-shaped chandeliers.
51-52 Hertford Street Mayfair London; alsultan.co.uk